WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Old man winter has made his presence known these past few days as temperatures dropped, parts of our region have been under Code Blue alert and one church is doing what it can to offer shelter to those in need.

It’s that time of year where snow is gathering and the temperatures are colder, especially at night.

First United Methodist Church is welcoming anyone who needs a place to stay, no questions asked.

“We’ve been doing this for a couple of years and our goal really is to give people a warm place to stay when this cold weather hits,” said John Best, volunteer, First United Methodist Church.

First United Methodist Church in Williamsport opened its doors in January for Code Blue. Every night from now until the end of March, people can come in for a hot meal and a warm place to sleep.

“We open at 9 o’clock, we immediately sanitize their hands, give them a mask and take their temperature. And then ask them all the pertinent COVID questions,” Best explained.

This area is used for the cots and marked with x’s so each person is socially distant. Blankets and pillows are labeled for each guest to limit possible exposure. Last year they weren’t able to offer code blue, but john says so far everyone this season has been healthy.

“We’ve had mostly vaccinated people and we’ve not had anybody feeling sick so it’s worked so far,” said Best.

Like many industries, they’re also in need of some extra hands.

“We’re really looking for volunteers. Not just from First Church but anybody who’s willing to do some Christian service,” said Best.

The outside of the church will have blue lights come every night at 9:00 p.m. signaling to the community that they’re open.

Anyone that wants to help out can contact their ministry’s office at 570-332-3572